Tulsa Tough pumps money into city
|Updated: 6/14/2012 4:43 pm
||Published: 6/07/2012 9:21 pm
This weekend, the streets of downtown Tulsa are not going to be filled with cars and trucks.
Instead, they will be overflowing with bicyclists from across the country. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday mark the 7th annual Tulsa Tough Bicycle competition. “Every year it keeps getting bigger and bigger
,” Jeff Keith said. Keith's a manager a Lee's Bicycle's downtown.
He's been watching Tulsa Tough grow since it started in 2006. “If you would have told me then what it's become now, I would be shocked
.” Last year, 1,500 racers descended on downtown and pumped money into the city. “The amount of money that it brings in, that's more money going to Tulsa city streets
,” Keith told FOX23.
This year, there will some new faces like Mandy Marquardt. Mandy is a racer from Pennsylvania.
“I just think it's an awesome city. We did a group ride yesterday, and the people are so friendly and very welcoming. It's an awesome community and I'm thrilled to be here."
She says racers look forward to this event for the competition and the purse That's exactly what Holiday Inn General Manager Ken Morgan wants to hear. “(It’s) absolutely a big weekend for us
.” He expects more than 200 people associated with the race to pack his downtown hotel. “Tulsa Tough really pushes us over the top with the weekend business
,” Morgan told FOX23 Thursday. Those guests push tax dollars into the city's coffers, and a good showing this weekend will hopefully have them coming back year after year. “Word of mouth is everything. (It’s) the best advertising that you can ask for, so I think the better job we as a city show or do for this event really has a far reaching impact,” Morgan said.
Event organizers estimate that Tulsa Tough pumps between $1.5 and $2 million into the economy. None of that comes from spectators purchasing tickets to watch the competition; Tulsa Tough is free to attend.
“You would think that based on crowd participation that you could easily be standing in the middle of France watching the Tour de France
,” Keith said. There are several street closures this weekend because of Tulsa Tough. To see a map of race routes, visit the Tulsa Tough website: http://www.tulsatough.com/
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